How To

Things To Be Aware Of When Working With A Recruitment Agency

Things To Be Aware Of When Working With A Recruitment Agency
HireHive Team

HireHive Team


Recruitment can be an expensive and time-consuming task. What’s more, it doesn’t come with any guaranteed results. That can be frustrating, and it’s the reason why more than 90% of companies now use staffing agencies to some degree.

By screening suitable candidates and suggesting them for your advertised job roles, staffing agencies can both streamline your employment processes and take the legwork out of finding the right hire. In the majority of cases, agencies will work with the expectation of a percentage fee when you choose one of their candidates. This will typically be between 15-20% of the base salary of that new employee, though some charge as much as 30% to fill high-level roles.

This is great news because it means that you don’t pay anything if you don’t find the right person. It does, however, mean that you could end up paying significant amounts when working with an agency to fill, say, a management-level role.

To some extent, the fact that agencies remove any real need to advertise publicly or search for candidates yourself means that this expense will often justify itself. But, to ensure real value from your agency quest, it’s also worth considering the following to make sure you’re getting agency recruitment right.

There are Different Types of Recruitment Agency

There are now around 30,000 recruitment agencies in the UK, and, much like job boards, each of them fills a slightly different role based on things like job specialisations, geography, and more. To ensure timely, reliable results, companies must take the time to understand what each recruitment agency offers, and which would be best to fill any given role.

Of course, to some extent, the fact that you only pay for hired candidates means that choosing the wrong agency to start needn’t be a hugely costly mistake. However, selecting an unsuitable agency could double the length of your employment drives, as well as potentially landing you with an unsuitable candidate that you might pay through the teeth for.

To avoid that, always research recruitment agents carefully, and consider things like –

  • Agency specialisations (e.g. IT, financial, management, etc.)
  • Geographic focus
  • Temp vs full-time focus
  • Candidate screening processes
  • And more

Once you’ve found an agency that serves your company’s needs, it’s well worth entering a long-term agreement. This should see that same agency offering you candidate options for future recruitments, without the need for any legwork on your part.

You’ll Need a Specified Agency Contract

When you agree to work with any staffing agency, it’s essential that you draw up a reliable agency contract. This is essential for ensuring that both parties know what they can reasonably expect. It can also help to guarantee things like agency expenses, and the quality of candidates that you can expect.

  • Things that you should especially specify in an agency contract include –
  • Terms of payment (when/how much/how)
  • How long the relationship will last
  • The degree of candidate vetting expected
  • Any volume discounts
  • Specialist requirements (candidate insurance/special skills)
  • Etc.

woman wearing glasses writing in a notebook

Recruitment Processes Look a Little Different

In a standard employment drive, you’ll post your job listings and wait for candidates to apply. But things work a little differently with a recruitment agency. In this instance, instead of advertising on a public job board, you’ll sign a term of business agreement which will see an agency headhunting suitable candidates out of their existing talent pool, or by advertising on job boards like LinkedIn on your behalf.

If you’ve chosen your agency wisely, this should mean that you have easy access to a team of ready-vetted candidates that are handpicked according to your company. This will allow you to proceed directly to the interview stages. The right agency may also coach their candidates in things like interview skills, and information about your company to ensure their success.

It is worth noting, however, that an agency won’t simply send candidates your way and let you get on with the rest. Given their financial ties to this candidate, many agencies will want to be present for interviews, and some will also stay in touch with their successful candidates (though you can stop this with a contractual stipulation). This can help ensure more suitable hires from that agency in the future, though it does depend on a company’s ability to be flexible, and willing to share those elements of their recruitment processes.

Agencies Offer Different Types of Hires

‘Agency work’ often brings to mind temporary working arrangements, but the majority of agencies now provide hire lengths according to your initial specifications and their speciality focus.

Most commonly when working with an agency, you’ll want to specify between your need for –

  • Temporary workers: Agencies are largely known for their ‘temp work’ status as they make it possible to hire consultants who work off pay-role outside IR35, and instead require a daily rate. This saves employers from needing to pay for things like national insurance and can be ideal for covering things like high-demand periods or staff sickness.
  • Full-time workers: Most agencies can also source candidates to fill full-time roles where required, though they may typically require higher overall payments for these individuals.

Determining which kind of hire you would need from an agency is the best way to understand upfront things like suitable agencies, potential expenses, and also whether or not agency employment will be best for your company.

Crop faceless multiethnic interviewer and job seeker going through interview

Get Agency Recruitment Right With HireHive

When it’s done right, agency recruitment can significantly simplify your employment drives, as well as making it more likely that you’ll always find the right high-quality candidates. However, agency recruitment that’s very different from standard employment can also end up costing you if you aren’t careful.

HireHive is specifically designed to simplify all elements of your recruitment drive, and agency employment is no exception. Through the use of a recruitment candidate portal that allows agencies to directly recommend candidates for specific roles, it’s far easier to ensure that you and your agency are on the same page. You’ll then be able to easily review, track, and determine the value of every lead that your chosen agency sends your way. By allowing you to store full candidate profiles online, HireHive also makes it easier to keep your agency in the loop, allowing them to see at a click which candidates you’re impressed with, and which ones fail to make it past the interview stages.

In short, HireHive makes it easier to connect with agencies who will better understand what you’re looking for at every turn. So, get agency recruitment right by starting your free trial of HireHive today.

Watch our demo

Hiring Pipeline

Arrange a product tour today and start using
recruiting software that helps you find and hire
the best candidates.

Read also

Company logo for Life Credit Union

“HireHive makes the team a lot more productive. We’d be lost without it. Team Leaders can do it all themselves if needed or jump in at the right time and know exactly where everything is and what’s happening.”

Profile of Hilary Dempsey

Hilary Dempsey Head of HR at Life Credit union

Join over 2,000 companies who streamlined their hiring process with HireHive